Pop-Up Pool Project revitalizes aquatic spaces in Philly

Communities / Article

August is well underway, but that doesn’t mean the balmy summer heat has abandoned Philadelphia just yet. Fortunately for Philly, the city has more public pools per capita than any other city in the country–although that doesn’t mean they are all living up to their potential.

To reinvigorate the swimming holes in the city, urban planner Benjamin Bryant of Group Melvin Design has taken the lead to start the Pop-Up Pool Project, a 2015 Knight Cities Challenge winner.

Francisville Playground, site of the first Pop-Up Pool revitalization.

In July, Francisville Playground in Fairmount was the first recipient of this revival, receiving custom seating, planters, umbrellas and programming such as games and classes. With more incentive to visit these oases, it is easier to connect with friends and neighbors in a fun and relaxing way–far better than merely waving hi while walking from car to house. With a common space and a shared group of activities, Philadelphians are more likely to truly connect with one another.

Currently, the multitude of pools around the city seem to fade into the background. Scarcely anyone speaks of hanging out at the pool for the afternoon, but during the dog days of summer, why not? In order to test the effectiveness of the various new elements at play at the revitalized Francisville pool, visitors can provide feedback about the changes. This feedback will help better gauge what the community wants at its public pools so that more locations around the city can share in the benefits of these revamped recreation spaces.

Cooling off with a shower at the Francisville Playground pool.

Going forward, Philadelphia summers promise to be wetter and better than they have been in recent memory. Francisville pool will be open through Aug. 21. Hours are listed here, and there is more information about Philadelphia public pools on the City of Philadelphia’s website.